Santa Rosa City Schools officially OKs online start

24 July 2020

Santa Rosa City Schools made official late Wednesday what was ordered by Gov. Gavin Newsom last week: All of the district’s approximately 16,000 students will start the school year Aug. 17 with online-only classes.

The 7-0 vote was both expected and nearly ceremonial after Newsom declared last week that no schools in counties on the state’s coronavirus watch list can open for in-person instruction until they have been off the watch list for 14 consecutive days. Sonoma County was placed on the list July 10.

Two days before Newsom’s announcement, Santa Rosa City Schools Superintendent Diann Kitamura sent an email to parents indicating the district would not offer in-person classes in the opening weeks of school but would re-assess by Oct. 9.

“This is not our choice to go to distance learning,” an emotional Kitamura said Wednesday night. “But it’s something we have to do at this point in time.”

Twenty-two people have died of COVID-19 in Sonoma County, 17 of them since June 28.

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